Sarah Smith and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include Lord Howard, Andrew Gwynne MP and David Lidington MP.
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Morning, everyone, and welcome
to the Sunday Politics.
I'm Sarah Smith.
And this is the programme that
will provide your essential briefing
on everything that's moving
and shaking in the
world of politics.
Theresa May's big Brexit speech
appears to have done the impossible
and united both sides
of her party for the time being
but is the devil in the detail?
We'll get the verdicts of former
Tory leader and Brexit supporter
Lord Howard and leading backbencher
and Remain campaigner Nicky Morgan,
and ask if they can
really both be happy.
Away from Brexit, the Government yet
again promises to take on the Nimbys
and build more houses
where we need them most.
through the proposals in detail.
In London, with 1 million EU
citizens eligible to vote,
will the local elections
in the capital become
a referendum on Brexit?
All that coming up in the programme.
And with me today, I've got three
hardy souls who've struggled
through the harsh conditions
to help me to make sense of all
the big stories - Isabel Oakeshott,
Steve Richards and Anushka Asthana.
Well, it was as week where politics
was often given second billing
to the weather, with people up
and down the country battling
the Beast from the East.
But snow or not, Theresa May had her
crucial Brexit speech to give,
and she had a few big beasts herself
to contend with.
Forget the weather, the UK faced
a Brexit blizzard this week.
On Monday, Jeremy Corbyn offered up
a clear dividing line between Labour
and the Conservatives.
Labour would keep Britain
in a customs union with the EU.
Labour would seek to negotiate
a new, comprehensive UK EU customs
union to ensure there are no
tariffs with Europe.
On Tuesday, international
trade secretary Liam Fox
immediately hit back.
It would be a complete sell-out
of Britain's national interest
and a betrayal of the voters
in the referendum.
But his speech was overshadowed
by a warning shot from the former
boss of his own department -
Sir Martin Donnelly said leaving
the single market and the customs
union would risk the UK
going from feast to famine.
It's like giving up a three course
meal for a packet of crisps.
Also on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary
Boris Johnson took to the radio
waves to try to ease tensions
on Northern Ireland after Brexit.
He wasn't entirely persuasive.
There's no border between
Camden and Westminster.
You can't compare two boroughs
of London with the kind
of difference in the arrangements
that would be in place after Brexit
between the UK and the EU.
I think it's a very
On Wednesday, former
Prime Minister Sir John Major said
MPs should be given a free vote
on the final Brexit deal.
So let Parliament decide or put
the issue back to the people.
And the EU Commission published
the first legal draft
of the UK's exit treaty.
The proposals were controversial.
To avoid a hard border,
Northern Ireland must stay
in the customs union
if all else fails.
Theresa May was having none of it.
No UK Prime Minister
could ever agree to it.
On Thursday, diplomatic niceties
with the European Council
President Donald Tusk,
as he got a preview of the Prime
Minister's big Brexit speech.
But the real test would come later,
when she would need a lot
of grit to keep all members
of her own party onside.
The big day arrived,
and with it some hard truths.
We are leaving the single market.
Life is going to be different.
In certain ways, our access to each
other's markets will be
less than it is now.
Even after we have
left the jurisdiction
of the European Court of Justice,
EU law and the decisions of the ECJ
will continue to affect us.
This was also a pitch
for a pick and mix Brexit.
She said all EU trade deals
are tailor-made and what Britain
wants is no different.
If this is cherry picking,
then every trade arrangement
is cherry picking.
He was happy, and so was he.
Despite being stranded
and left out in the cold.
So, has the Prime Minister managed
to thaw the tensions
between her Cabinet on Brexit?
Time will tell.
There is more than enough to chew
over with our expert panel who will
tell us what's been going on behind
the scenes this week. Anushka, we
asked the question, has she achieved
the impossible and United warring
factions of the Conservative Party
over Brexit? It looks that way, will
it stay that way?
It is impressive
politically that your guests will
both have some praise for the speech
but it doesn't mean they agree with
each other when it comes to Brexit.
I'm sure there's a lot they continue
to disagree about. She managed to do
that by doubling down on the red
lines she already had but saying
beyond that we will try to get as
close as we can to the EU. I don't
think the Brexiteers are totally
happy, they see this as a staging
post and happy that what she said
future parliaments can change it.
She has done a magic trick now but
trouble ahead still.
Isabel, a lot
of it was how in the immediate
future we will stay tangibly similar
to EU rules and regulations, that
won't hold with the Brexiteer crowd,
Only an idiot would predict
peace and harmony within the Tory
party for more than a few days.
party for more than a few days. I
think they recognise the immense
discipline the Prime Minister
injected into the speech, in some
ways that means bits of it don't
please everybody. There was
frustration at the way she handled
some of the questions afterwards.
Some would have liked her, for
example Nigel Farage, outside of the
party of course, would have liked
her to be more explicit that no deal
remains an option. On the other
hand, had she said that, that is
provocative. I think Tory MPs found
she struck a balance and a great
feeling of positivity this weekend,
maybe not next.
Steve, did it tell
us a huge amount about what Brexit
deal might look like? Or is Theresa
May sitting on the fence about what
the future deal will be?
think she is sitting on the fence.
She gave a clear idea of what she
envisages it to be. Watching it, and
reading it several times, I have
reached the conclusion that she is
the only person that can lead this
You have Michael Howard on in a
minute, you knows how difficult it
is to do. She can do it and I think
they would be daft to get rid of
her. However, having read the
speech, it is full of unexploded
bombs metaphorically speaking. Like
the budgets that go down well on the
day and then turn out to have hidden
bombs, I think this one does. In her
admission we are giving up things,
we won't have the same market
access, in saying we have given up
passporting for the financial
services already. She did it to show
we weren't having our cake and
eating it, she was honest, but it is
depressing to have that candour
explained so clearly. And in
explaining we will be fully aligned
with the EU in many ways but have
the right to diverged even if it is
against our interest. And the all of
this, to have the right to diverge
at a future date seems fraught with
difficulty. I see problems down
Steve's point about only this
Prime Minister can lead the party is
a very astute one and that's what
I'm picking up this weekend, even
from those who have been her
harshest critics, at her ability not
to say too much which makes her seem
rather boring at times is precisely
the reason she can manage these
delicate factions. I definitely feel
time has run out now for those who
would like to have seen her gone
well before Brexit next year. I feel
that has evaporated milk. We might
be in a different place in a few
months but I would suspect not.
Anushka bitchy answer the question
about the border between the
Republic and Northern Ireland? Simon
Coveney said he's not sure the EU
can support the plan she came up
Both sides can smile and say
they don't want a border, the
question is how you achieve that.
The Government have put forward
these options, a customs partnership
which is a slightly weird system
under which there would be checks on
the UK border that would then be
acceptable for the rest of the EU.
The problem is the rest of the EU
have suggested that won't be
acceptable to them, and even very
senior figures in Government around
the Cabinet table have told me they
think it is a completely unrealistic
option. The second option is to use
technology to make it flow freely,
perhaps not quite as Boris
perhaps not quite as Boris Johnson
was suggesting, it happens in the
congestion charge in London. He was
slightly mocked for those comments,
but can there be a way to make it
softer in that way? Perhaps there
can but there is no evidence you
would end up with no border. Then
there's that tricky situation of the
EU saying the backstop is Northern
Ireland stays in the customs union,
and the Prime Minister says that is
Thank you for that,
stay with us.
Theresa May was on the
Andrew Marr Show this
morning, and she was asked how
the UK's rules and regulations
might move away from
the EU's in the future.
Parliament will be able to take
decisions about the rules that
are set, so in the circumstances
in which the EU
change a particular rule,
there'd be a decision
for us to take.
Did we accept it
in the future or not?
But if we didn't accept it,
there'd be an arbitration mechanism,
an independent arbitration
mechanism, so people
would look at it and say,
actually, you know what,
if the UK doesn't accept that,
does it make any difference
to the trading relationship?
And they might say no, it doesn't,
so there's no consequence.
They might say yes, it does,
and so there would be a consequence.
So you're saying we might
lose market access -
the more we diverge,
the more market access
we might lose in the future.
There'd be a decision to be taken.
Joining me now from
Loughborough is the former
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan,
who put her name down on a Commons
amendment that calls for the UK
to participate in a customs union
with the EU after Brexit.
Good morning. So you heard the Prime
Minister ruling out a customs union
which is what you say you want, and
they will be less access to EU
markets in future, you cannot be
very happy with this speech, can
I thought it was a very
realistic speech that set out the
compromises and hard facts we have
to face, and I think it was a
welcome dose of realism. That's why
I think it has been welcomed from
people on all sides of the debate
because we can get away from
pretending things will stay the
same, that we can have the same
benefits, and be honest with
ourselves and our constituents about
what that means. The reason MPs put
down amendments is to get ministers
to explain their position is more
fully and that's what we began to
see in the Prime Minister's speech
on this issue of the border between
Northern Ireland, the Republic of
Ireland on Friday. The Prime
Minister could not have been more
clear this morning and last week
that she does not want to see a hard
border between them, and that's
where we are as well. I think there
are more discussions to come about
the two options, as Anushka was
setting out, that the Prime Minister
outlined, and we will have to see
what happens when the bill comes
back to the House of Commons.
amendment wasn't just about Northern
Ireland, it said you want the UK to
stay in the customs union with the
EU. Now you say you want to talk to
the Prime Minister about this. Talk
about what? We are either in the
customs union or knots and her
speech made it clear she didn't want
a customs union.
I can speak for
myself and my colleagues, many of
whom put their name down, it was
about the Irish border issue because
many of us got to the stage of
thinking how can this be resolved
without being in a customs union. I
think many of us don't care what it
is called, it's a question of what
it does. Does it avoid a hard border
and small traders having to make
declarations each time they crossed
the border? I was a Treasury duties
minister, I visited the Irish border
and it is 300 miles of incredibly
porous countryside basically. People
are crossing it everyday for work,
for trading, and it's not just about
the economics, it's about the
cultural and political significance
of not a hard border.
government and Irish Foreign
Minister Simon Coveney were saying
this morning he didn't think EU
would accept this. Theresa May said
a long she doesn't want a hard
border, just saying that doesn't
mean it won't happen and the EU
don't seem satisfied with what she
laid out as a possible solution.
first point is, as I said in a tweet
on Friday, the EU cannot say and
Simon Coveney recognise that this
morning, the EU cannot say it
doesn't know what the UK Government
wants. Simon Coveney also agreed, as
the Prime Minister rightly set out,
this is a problem that has been
created by Brexit and it's up to the
UK Government, the EU and Irish
government to work together to find
a solution. I think it is right that
talks will continue in one of those
areas where it is best for the Irish
government and UK Government to be
talking directly because at the
moment what's been remarkable is how
cohesive the 27 have been in
negotiating through the commission
but there may be ways to speed up
discussions, particularly on the
Irish border issue. What we saw on
Friday is the Prime Minister saying
there's difficult things ahead.
People won't remember ultimately the
negotiations, they will remember the
enduring deal that's struck, that
puts livelihoods and economic
One of the hard fact is that she
laid out is we will have less access
to EU markets. That is one of the
things that you as a Remainer have
been worried about. Maybe she is
being pragmatic and you're welcome
that, but is that pragmatism not
admitting were going to be worse off
in future as a result of this?
think it probably is. Actually,
while the speech was well come in
its towns, it did set out some of
these hard truths. Some people have
said, nothing will change, it will
have exactly the same benefits but
that is not the case. I am chair of
the Treasury Select Committee, we
look at financial services. That
industry understands that things are
going to change. The Prime Minister
was clear, no more passporting.
People have reconciled themselves to
this in the city. What next? The
Prime Minister is talking about
mutual recognition of regulations,
that is the way to go, that is
achievable, but this is the start of
negotiations and it is a long way to
go. At least we are now on the
starting blocks. Your right to say
that many of us have been concerned
about the prosperity and livelihoods
of people in our constituencies and
our businesses. We welcome this
speech but we will continue to watch
out for any drifting backwards
towards some kind of idea logically
driven hard Brexit. That does not
benefit anybody. As the Prime
Minister said on Friday, reverting
to WTO is not a good outcome that
will benefit people in this country.
The Prime Minister made clear that
the UK after Brexit can choose to
stay aligned with the rules and
regulations of the EU or future
parliaments to choose to diverged.
In those circumstances you will be
fighting every step of the week to
try to stay aligned with the EU, I
Not necessarily. That was a
really well come statement from the
Prime Minister. It is for the
sovereign parliament to be making
these decisions in future, which is
why we had the debate over the
amendment in December because
ultimately it should be sovereign
Parliament that makes these key
decisions in the future. In terms of
divergences regulation, there may
well be good arguments in the future
by businesses and industry say, we
do not need to be aligned with that
regulation, because there is a
higher international standard that
we can all get around and following
that will benefit our businesses.
The point is, at the moment,
Parliament will take decisions about
things on the basis of listening to
constituents, and that is what will
happen in the future. That is
welcome. Financial services, that is
the message we're getting by, there
are some international standards,
which is what business already
comply with, higher standards than
the EU, and that is what businesses
want to on complying with.
Morgan, thank you for talking to us.
Listening to that is the former
Conservative leader Lord Howard,
who campaigned for Britain
to leave the EU.
You were nodding away in agreement
with Nicky Morgan all the way
through that interview. Not
something we thought we were going
to see happen in the studio.
agree with her? I agree with very
much of what she said and I am
delighted to be able to agree with
her. Can I just say this about the
speech on Friday, I thought it
should the Prime Minister at her
best, cam, patient, disciplined.
That is exactly the kind of approach
we need in these negotiations. I
think Steve Richards was right when
he said she is the only person who
can lead the country through these
negotiations, and she showed her
qualities on Friday, and I think it
was an excellent speech, and it is
something, of course it is a good
thing from my point of view that it
seems to have united the
Conservative Party, but more
importantly, I think it has united
the country. I think everyone in the
country, except perhaps those few
people are neither extreme, can
rally round. People like John Major
and Tony Blair? I fear that on this
issue John Major and Tony Blair are
to make love the people who have
never been able to reconcile
themselves to the results of the
referendum. I think a large majority
of people in the country, even of
those who voted Remain, they now
say, let's get on with it and see
what we can get out of these
negotiations. Nicky Morgan was
absolutely right when she said that
in years to come people will not be
looking back at the negotiations.
They will be looking back at the
The negotiations matter
because they determine the outcome.
You like the tone of the speech.
When you look at the detail, does it
really amounted taking back control
when the Prime Minister says the UK
will need to make a strong
commitment that regulatory standards
will remain as high as the EU and in
practice they will remain similar in
That is not what you
campaign for. In many respects they
will be similar. As the Prime
Minister said this morning, on the
Andrew Marr programme, these
regulations are not EU regulations,
the international regulations. The
crucial thing is that our sovereign
parliament, in future, will be able
to decide whether we remain in a
layman, which in many cases would be
a sensible thing to do, or whether
we diverged, which could also be
sensible. That is what taking back
parliament will decide. Look at
where we do remain in alignment and
a hard fact that Theresa May picked
out there, in order to maintain
access we may have to maintain a
layman. The EU will change their
rules over the next few deals --
over the next few years. We will end
up having to mirror rules that we
had no say at all in making if we
want to maintain access.
That is not
control. We will be able to decide.
In some cases it may be sensible to
change rules to remain in alignment
with the European Union's rules but
in other cases it will not be, and
we will be able to decide. That is
what taking back control means.
You're perfectly happy with
associated membership of some of the
EU agencies, medicine, chemicals,
the aviation safety agency, and with
paying a fee to be -- to be a
member. Very sensible. A year ago
you would not have been telling us
that you wanted to stay a member of
any of these agents is a tall.
never ask me. You would have been
surprised by the answer. These are
sensible, practical arrangements
that we benefit from, and the EU
It is sensible. We were
promised famously by David Davis
that we would have the exact same
benefits of being in the customs
union and the single market after
Brexit. The Prime Minister herself
said something similar. Now she's
telling us we will have less access.
When people were told we could leave
the EU and maintain the same
benefits, were they being lied to?
Not at all. I think it is a
consequence of what the Prime
Minister has said, that in all
important respects, we will have the
access we need. There may be some
areas where that will not be the
case, but she dealt with the most
important aspect in her speech on
Friday and should have in the most
important areas we will be able to
have access. I think that will be
the outcome. It is in the interests
of the European Union as well as
ourselves that that should be so.
They want access to our large
market. We are one of the six
biggest economies in the world. They
want access to our markets. It will
be on both our interest to reach
that sort of agreement.
of the Tory party might be happy
with this. The speech was received
less enthusiastically in Brussels.
The EU will publish their draft
guidelines on how they see a future
deal on Tuesday. If they do not
accept the approach that Theresa May
has laid out, what should she do
Let's concentrate on the
positives. We are in a negotiation.
There will inevitably be posturing
by the European Union in the course
of these negotiations. That is what
negotiations always bring with them.
But I think, as I say, it is in both
our interest that we should have a
good deal. At the end of the day,
they want our money. They will not
get our money unless there is a good
It has been said that a trade
deal cannot be said by putting up a
few extra cherries in the Brexit
cake. This speech did not persuade
him that is a deal to be done.
not in charge of the negotiations.
Michel Barnier did not seem terribly
impressed. Are they going to accept
the Prime Minister's view that you
can accept different access for
Let's wait and
see. Michel Barnier welcome the
speech. There is lots of posturing.
It is invading tress and hours to
arrive at a deal that is very
similar to that which the Prime
Minister set on Friday.
very positive about with the EU is
likely to do. They may well not do
that. Is there a point at which the
Prime Minister may be forced to walk
away because they will not meet
I hope not but if you go
into any negotiations in, I want to
deal at any price, you will be taken
to the cleaners. That is true of
every negotiation. I agree with the
Prime Minister when she says that in
the ultimate circumstance, no deal
is better than a bad deal, but I do
not think we're going to have a bad
deal, I think we're going to have a
deal along the lines the Prime
Minister set out on Friday.
we are going to have to compromise
and we are not
and we are not going to get what we
want. We will have to meet someone
in the middle on this and the
response from the EU has not been to
say, we agree, let's talk about
compromise, it has to -- it has been
to maintain a lot of their hard
lines about cherry picking.
will change. Their approach to the
negotiations on the first stage
changed. All sorts of figures were
bandied about about the money we
would have to pay and they bore no
reality to the ultimate outcome. You
have to take these initial
negotiating positions with a pinch
When the EU was negotiating
with Greece during its financial
crisis, they were absolutely
insistent, they did not soften their
No disrespect to Greece, but
we are not Greece. The European
Union needs access to our markets.
The European Union needs our money.
The situation is very, very
different from that which happened
between the EU and Greece.
Howard, thank you for talking to us
As we've heard, Jeremy Corbyn
made his own big speech on Brexit
earlier in the week and he backed
a customs union.
So how would it work?
With me from Salford
is the Shadow Communities
Secretary, Andrew Gwynne.
Thank you very much for coming in to
speak to us today. We have got to
make a very different approaches.
Jeremy Corbyn at the beginning of
the week saying he wanted to stay in
a customs union, Theresa May on
Friday pretty much ruling it out. Is
it not Theresa May who is being
honest with the voters by laying out
the hard fact, as she puts it, that
we will have to accept we have less
access to the EU market?
not. That we are leaving the
European Union is decided. We had a
referendum, but the Thames by which
we leave the European Union is what
the negotiations are all about and
the Labour Party has always said it
would seek to maintain the benefits
of a customs union. In doing that,
we have set out our proposals for
what we think that new arrangement
should be, I bespoke agreement
between the EU in the UK that would
maintain the benefits of tariff free
trade between the UK and the
European Union going forward. But
one in which we are equal partners,
so we have a say on those new trade
deals that are being made and a half
of the new arrangements between our
two trading blocs.
That has never
happened with any other country that
has entered into a customs union
with the EU. Why do you think they
would give us an equal say, one of
us against 27 of them, when it came
to a negotiating a trade deal with
someone else somewhere else in the
The EU is different trading
arrangements with different
It does and none of them
have a say in outside trade deals.
The difference here, as Lord Howard
said, we are the largest economy the
world. The European Union has
important trading links with the
United Kingdom, it is a two-way
process, and therefore it is in both
of interest that we strike a deal
that benefits both of us.
I do not
know what is happening on this
programme. You are agreeing with
Laura Taarabt, he's agreeing with
Nicky Morgan. It is a very unusual
You're all in the same
side. The difference is the
Conservatives have ruled out a
customs union, and we are saying
that a customs union is vital, not
least that we can give real
assurances that the Good Friday
Agreement and our treaty obligations
in the Good Friday Agreement are not
torn up. We do not want to lose the
advantage is that we have seen of 20
years of peace between Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
If the EU says, you can remain in a
customs union but you do not get a
large say in future trade deals with
countries outside of the EU and you
just have to accept what is
negotiated by the EU 27, would you
still want to be in that customs
We would have to look at that
carefully. We want to be a rule
maker and not a real taker. It is
hard to do that if you stay in a
customs union. Unless you have a new
arrangement whereby the United
Kingdom sits at the table when those
trade deals are being made. That is
the new arrangement that we seek to
make. We believe we would be in a
better position to make those
arrangements with the European Union
because we have approached the
Brexit negotiations in an entirely
different manner. We have said what
we would like to see in terms of
transitional arrangements, the
government subsequently followed on
a number of those issues, but all
along we have said that we want to
maintain the benefits of tariff free
custom free trade, and that is
absolutely crucial, not least for
the Northern Ireland issue.
the things the Labour Party was
looking forward to have to Brexit,
and that Jeremy Corbyn has stressed,
was the freedom from state aid
rules, where the EU stops the UK
Government from giving financial
assistance to any particular sector
of industry. Theresa May spoke about
that on Friday and said it would be
necessary to sign up to the
directives on state aid and
procurement rules, to keep those EU
rules. Do you accept that will have
No, and we have a different view
anyway. When it came to our
arguments the Government should step
in to assist the steel industry in
Britain, the Government used these
fallacies about state aid rules to
excuse themselves for not giving
adequate support to that industry.
We didn't believe in the
interpretation the Government made
because other European countries
have got round the so-called state
aid rules. We have said as part of
our negotiations, that is a red line
for us. We would want to make sure
we could facilitate state aid in a
number of areas where Labour Party
policies have been clearer about
supporting our industries.
is a red line, is it more important
staying in the customs union, if you
have to make the choice? The EU
could say no customs union if you
insist on state aid.
We believe we
could get a bespoke arrangement for
a new customs relationship, a new
I think there's a
name for that, isn't it called
No because we
believe this is in the interests of
the UK and in the interests of the
European Union. 44% of our trade is
with the European Union, 53% of the
EU's trade is with the UK so it is
in both our interests that we sort
this out and get the best deal not
for the European Union but for
Britain outside of the European
You seem to be saying the
Tory government are asking for the
impossible in their negotiations and
won't get what they are looking for
but somehow if there was a Labour
government negotiating this deal,
all doors would open and you would
be able to select which bit of the
customs union you did and didn't
like and could have a bespoke deal
that is not available for some
reason to Theresa May.
out a customs union, I think that is
a bad decision because I believe a
customs union, negotiated between
the UK and the European Union 27 is
in the best interests of sorting out
customs free tariff-free trade going
forward but also sorting out the
issue of the border between Ireland,
north and south.
Labour set out six
tests as to whether they would vote
for the Brexit deal in the end and
one of those was that it had to
deliver the same benefits we get
from being in the single market and
customs union. That was a quote from
David Davis, but Theresa May has
been clear we are not going to get
the same benefits. Does this mean
Labour under no circumstances will
be able to vote for any Brexit deal
that's been negotiated?
what Brexit deal comes back before
we have a hypothetical vote on this.
You don't think there's any
circumstances in which it could come
I believe if the Government
wanted to enter into negotiations to
do that, they could do that. The
fact the Prime Minister has conceded
is probably because they have ruled
out a customs union. We believe that
is the wrong decision, we believe
that arrangement is possible, but
let's see what the Government comes
back with and then we will decide
how we vote in parliament.
Parliament has got a meaningful vote
and that was something that had to
be secured through the parliamentary
processes. The Government weren't
going to give us that right and I
think it is right it is ultimately
Parliament that decides.
It's coming up to 11.40,
you're watching the Sunday Politics.
Still to come...
As the government promises to cut
red tape to get more houses built,
we'll ask the Cabinet Office
minister David Lidington
whether they're finally prepared
to take on the nimbys.
First though, it's
time for the Sunday Politics
where you are.
Hello and welcome to
the London part of the show.
I'm Jo Coburn.
With me for the duration
today, Andy Slaughter,
Labour MP for Hammersmith,
and Chris Philp, Conservative
MP for Croydon South.
Welcome to both of you.
I want to start with
the latest on Brexit.
On Friday, the Prime Minister
made her latest keynote
speech on leaving the EU,
whilst the Labour leader,
Jeremy Corbyn, earlier in the week
announced Labour's new position
on the Customs Union.
First of all though, Chris Philp,
the Prime Minister says
there will be less access
to the single market
than we had before.
Is that a good thing for business?
I think it's a realistic
assessment of where we are,
given we are leaving
the European Union.
I thought the speech was very
good, it was balanced.
It recognised that we couldn't
continue having the same level
of access as now because if
we did we effectively
wouldn't be leaving.
Right, so why did the Brexit
Secretary say we will have
the exact same benefits of leaving
the EU as we had when we were
in the single market?
I think what the Brexit Secretary
meant and what the Prime Minister
said in her speech last week
was that we are going to have a deep
and special trade relationship.
We are going to be signing up
to broadly common standards.
That's a critical thing to say
because it means we can trade freely
if we accept our regulatory
standards are going to be broadly
equivalent of the European Union's.
Broadly equivalent but not as high.
No, certainly not as high.
In fact she said in some areas
like workers' rights,
she would expect UK standards to be
even higher than European standards
as they currently are.
But the point is they won't be
identical, they're going
to be broadly equivalent
with an independent body,
not the ECJ, deciding
whether they are equivalent or not.
And that means we can
continue to trade freely
and that's very important.
I mean it was a reality check
for Brexiteers, wasn't it?
The ECJ, the European Court
of Justice, will still arbitrate
over certain things,
we will still be signed up to some
of the key European agencies.
It was a realistic approach,
as you said, because the UK
Government has realised they can't
get what they want.
I don't think the European Court
of Justice will be arbitrating.
I think its judgments will have some
influence in some of the bodies
that we are still part of.
It was a balanced and realistic
speech that lays the foundations
for a really good free trade deal
and I'm delighted she made it.
And do you accept that?
It's just chaotic, isn't it?
In what way?
We are not that much further forward
because Theresa May can't
commit herself absolutely
because she will...
One faction in her party,
either the pro-Brexit extremists
or the Remainers will suddenly say
that's it, so she has
to keep the show going.
But she'll say on the one hand
we are not going to sign up to any
of those terrible things
like the customs union
and single market,
but on the other hand I want us
to have the best possible
deal that's going.
What has Labour promised
I mean will your constituents say
that Labour has a better policy
in terms of its promises
of the customs union?
My constituents I think know that,
which is probably why my majority
trebled at the last election.
But they don't want to be part
of the single market, do they?
Jeremy moved the party
significantly, Jeremy's speech
was significant last week because it
committed us to the customs union.
Out of the customs union.
There's very little
difference between those two.
What he says is that we want
to replicate the customs union
and as far as possible the single
market as well.
Those are significant moves
in the direction of travel,
which the party is going on.
Do you think Jeremy Corbyn will sign
up to a single market membership?
I think it's possible
that we will move further as time
goes on but the indications he has
given so far we want to maintain
the advantages that we had
as members of the EU.
But you can't have
your cake and eat it.
You can't both retain
all of the advantages and also
at the same time leave.
You must feel a bit sore
because he fired you,
didn't he, about a year ago.
You were sacked?
For advocating customs
I don't feel sore about it,
I'm delighted that we are now
advocating that policy.
Yes, but on the basis that
you wanted single market membership
and he said you can no longer be
part of the team.
The job that I think Keir Starmer
and Jeremy are doing
is in recognising that
if we want to be a successful
trading country, we are going
to have to stay on the closest
possible terms with the EU
and they are making
What you get with Theresa May
is just bones thrown
to these lunatic fringe,
the Rees-Moggites and so forth,
just to say we are still going to be
a hard Brexit, anti-European party
while admitting that...
Let's talk about the City
of London because the City
of London financial services,
an important part of the economy,
and Theresa May said we are not
looking for passporting
because we understand this
is intrinsic to the single market
of which we would no
longer be a member.
It would also require us to be
subject to a single rule book over
which we would have no say.
That's going to be very
damaging, isn't it?
But if you read the very next
paragraph in the speech,
which I'm sure we both have,
she goes on to say that we
would commit to having
regulatory standards that
were of equivalent levels.
If that's acceptable to the EU.
I don't see why it wouldn't be
because they book over
half their debt and equity issuance
in London so they really would be
cutting off their nose
to spite their faces.
How would that be the same
as passporting, which the City
of London has now?
It would give us financial services
access providing that an independent
body found that our regulatory
standards were of a equivalent
standard broadly to the Europeans,
which we would expect them to be,
because in many ways our regulatory
standards are higher.
So that is passporting, isn't it?
It gives you market access
without having to be part
of the single market and signing up
to the last dot and comma
of every single last rule.
But I must say, I think
a moment ago of the speech,
of sort of throwing bones to Jacob,
and by the way I don't
think he eats bones.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, this is.
Was rather unfair because I thought
this speech, if you read it
carefully, is very realistic and it
recognises where we need to make
concessions and it recognises
where the European Union does.
I think it was actually very
realistic and balanced,
and I think will provide
the foundations for a sensible
free-trade deal that
works for them and us.
Chris, you have to say that.
You were a Remainer and I suspect
you recognise this is all nonsense.
What we have done, if we have
rejected the advantages we had
of being in the EU and now
we are trying to sign up
to second-best versions of them...
But people voted to leave,
Andy Slaughter, didn't they,
and the point is one
of your colleagues, Frank Field,
said people like you have ratted
and are ratting on Labour leaders.
said people like you have ratted
and are ratting on Labour leavers.
Frank Field is one of half a dozen
Labour MPs who doesn't agree
with the direction of travel
the Labour Party has.
The Labour Party is actually very
united on this issue.
Theresa May has two problems.
One is how does she square leaving
the EU with the economic
success of the country,
but she's got that additional
problem that all Tory leaders have
had back to John Major which is how
do we reconcile the irreconcilable
Ken Clarke and Rees-Mogg?
Let's leave it there.
Westminster is regarded as the jewel
in the crown of local
government in London.
The Conservatives have been in power
there for as long as the City
of Westminster has existed
in its current form.
The opposition claim
the council is out of touch
and in hock to the privileged,
but they're now hitting back
with a policy to raise
money from the rich.
Will that be enough to save them
from the predicted Labour
upsurge in inner London?
Tanjil Rashid reports.
Westminster has some pretty
The Queen, for one.
But it's not all swans
and stucco fronted terraces.
It has the highest number of rough
sleepers in the country,
one of whom recently died
yards from Parliament.
The city of Westminster has long
been divided with a diverse
population and a large number
of council estates.
The north tends to vote Labour and
returns the Labour MP to Parliament.
But then you have the rather more
affluent Tory leaning South
and the council as a whole has been
Conservative run since 1964.
If Labour want to take control here,
as some polling indicates may
happen, they need to win
in places like this.
Both the election results last year
but also the polling done since then
shows a really dramatic shift
to Labour, particularly
in inner London.
So the last bit of polling done show
a 13-point swing to Labour in inner
London and that is of the scale that
will enable Labour potentially
to take councils like
Wandsworth and Westminster.
If they manage to crack Westminster,
something seismic is happening
in British politics.
The Labour team are hoping
to capitalise on local
opposition to Brexit.
They are fielding an EU
citizen as a candidate.
Well, I meet other EU nationals
all the time when I'm campaigning
and you see that they are very,
very concerned about Brexit.
I think there's also
the anger over Grenfell,
which is round the corner from here.
There are people who previously
voted Conservative who are fed up
with Brexit, fed up with the hard
right Tory agenda nationally
and want to see something
at a local level that
represents their interests
In order to win, they do need
to double the number
of councillors they have.
Labour currently have
15 to the Tories' 45.
The swing that's been projected
would be enough but the Conservative
leader of the council
believes her party
will weather the storm.
On the doorstep, we are being told
that they are voting
Conservative in Westminster.
They may vote for Labour
in the national elections
but many of them tell us in local
elections they vote for us.
And she has an eye-catching
policy to raise funds
from Westminster's wealthy.
Over the last couple of years,
wealthier residents have
asked us consistently,
why don't you put up
the council tax?
So this new voluntary
contribution asks those in
band H to pay a bit more,
consider paying a bit more.
Their council tax bill
for next year will be £833.
We are suggesting another £833.
Some of those targeted by the scheme
don't think it's a reliable way
to fund the council.
The voluntary contribution,
whilst very worthwhile,
doesn't necessarily give the council
any surety as to how much
money they will have.
It relies on goodwill
and being reliant on goodwill
is a little bit like a coconut shy
at the fairground.
You don't know whether you are going
to win that coconut or you're
not going to win it.
The scheme will be confirmed
by the council this week,
The scheme will be confirmed
by the council
is this week,
and come the election in May,
we will see whether or not
it is enough for Westminster to buck
the trend and remain in Tory hands.
That was Tanjil Rashid reporting.
The policy wonks there are saying
there is a 13% inner
London swing to Labour.
Were we to see that,
that would be enough
for Labour to take Westminster
for the first time.
How worried are you?
I think we have all seen how
accurate opinion polls
are the last election,
and at the referendum.
So you do not believe them?
Let's wait until the election
actually happens but I think
Westminster City Council
have an incredibly strong story.
They charge the lowest band D
council tax in the country,
it is less than half their immediate
Camden, and yet their
services are excellent.
So why are Labour doing so well?
We do not know they
are doing so well.
They collect the bins twice
a week in Westminster.
In Croydon, my borough, Labour run,
bin collections have been cut.
They have the highest social
mobility in the country,
their children's services are rated
outstanding by Ofsted,
whereas in Croydon, the Labour
run borough I am from,
the children's services have been
found to be dangerous.
You're giving me a list
of what you see as the achievements
of the council but we've just heard
there, you may say, we cannot
believe the polls but look
what happened in the general
election, in terms of Jeremy Corbyn
and the Labour Party doing better
than people thought.
So I say to you again,
the last time this was a marginal
area, you have to go back
to Shirley Porter and the homes
for votes scandal.
So what is happening?
Andy Slaughter alluded to it.
Clearly in the general election,
a national election,
there were significant challenges
for the Conservatives,
especially in inner London but this
is a local election,
it is about local issues,
and Westminster Council,
in common with Wandsworth and other
do a fantastic job delivering
excellent services for low tax,
unlike Labour run councils,
like Croydon, where I am from,
who do a terrible job,
in things like children's services
and collecting rubbish
while charging exorbitantly
high council tax.
There would still have
to be an enormous swing.
It may be great publicity to say
that Labour may take the scalp
of a council that you have never
held in recent time,
but it is actually unrealistic?
I note the desperation
in Chris's voice.
And the fact that Labour is trying
to win Westminster very seriously,
which it is, and it has great
representation, a fantastic MP
in Karen Buck, great opposition
there, but you're right,
it is a very big ask,
because you're asking them to go
from having a quarter of the seats
to winning, but there is a chance,
but it will take a lot of work
and a big turnout from voters,
like the EU voters,
we heard from them,
but also from people who...
I'm sorry, but Chris absolutely gets
it wrong about Westminster.
It is a terrible council,
it has the sixth highest child
poverty in the country.
People think it is a wealthy area,
it is not, and yet they have taken
£10 million in the last two years
out of children's services.
But as you say, still unrealistic
for Labour to actually win it.
Could you sit here today and say,
we are going to win that?
You are very stupid to predict
the results of elections.
People were not predicting that
Labour would take Hammersmith three
years ago and we did.
We're the only council since then
to actually cut council tax
during that time in London.
I hope we will win again
on our record, but the Tory record
in Westminster is terrible,
particularly on housing,
one of the worst achieving councils
in terms of providing affordable
housing in London.
How do you judge this policy
from the leader of the council
who is asking the richest residents
to pitch in with a voluntary tax?
Do you support that?
This is more desperate,
You cannot run government
on the basis of charity.
The real crisis in local government
is because every council had
at least a third of its budget cut
by the cuts in central government.
During the austerity period,
central government rather cowardly
chose to cut local government rather
than cutting some
of its own services.
Is this just a gimmick?
Would you like your richest
constituents to pay around £850
a year more, donated
to council coffers?
I am always in favour
of trying new things.
You have got to be flexibly minded.
That is a no.
Let's give it a try.
I would be perfectly happy
for Croydon Council to do that.
The Conservatives on Croydon Council
have proposed exactly this measure
but take Westminster as an example.
On housing, which Andrew mentioned,
we've got 415 homeless places,
overnight shelter places
in Westminster, the
highest in the country.
There are seven teams of people
going around every night
in Westminster actively trying
to help homeless people so I think
Westminster has a proud record
of delivering great services for low
council tax and that is why
they deserve to get re-elected
because that is what these
elections are about.
Why not just put up council tax?
This system which Andy Slaughter
has said is a gimmick,
really, it is a charity,
a charitable donation,
rather than setting up a new system,
why not put up council tax,
why don't you advise
Westminster to do that?
It is up to Westminster to set
their own level of council tax.
Would that be better?
If they felt they absolutely needed
that money to run their services,
I am sure they would put
their council tax up,
but this is a voluntary measure
to provide additional services
and people can choose
whether to pay it.
A good idea for
the rich to pitch in?
Look, it is a joke.
You cannot run government
on the charity of individuals.
Street homelessness has gone up 140%
since the Tories got
back into government.
There are 2,500 families
in temporary accommodation
It is a shambles and this
sort of gimmick is not
going to convince anybody.
Let's move on.
This week the Labour MP
for Bermondsey and Old Southwark,
Neil Coyle, wrote to EU citizens
in his constituency.
He urged them to regard the upcoming
local elections as a referendum
on the Prime Minister's handling
of the Brexit negotiations
and to vote for Labour accordingly.
Sebastien Ash has more.
Over one million EU citizens
in London are eligible to vote
in local council
elections on May the 3rd.
London's mayor, Sadiq Khan,
has called on them to,
send the Tory government the message
that we do not want their chaotic,
extreme hard-Brexit approach.
And in a letter targeted at EU
citizens in his constituency,
Labour MP for Bermondsey
and Old Southwark, Neil Coyle,
has said, as someone
from an EU member state,
you have to vote in
the local elections.
This will be a major chance to send
Theresa May's government a clear
message about her disastrous Brexit
policy and how it affects
you and our whole community.
The party's commitment this week
to staying in a customs union
with the EU could win votes
in the capital, and with significant
EU populations in swing councils
like Wandsworth and Barnet,
their votes could make
all the difference, but the EU
citizens rights group
The3million have said,
the jury is out on Labour
because they supported Article 50.
Joining me now, Costanza de Toma,
from the organisation The3million,
which lobbies on behalf
of EU citizens rights.
You say Labour cannot be trusted,
so who are you advocating EU
citizens should vote for?
Well, the key thing to say is
I think we would like EU nationals
to vote first and foremost.
We're not telling anybody
who to vote for, but we are talking
to our members, to our fellow EU
nationals, to be active citizens,
so to keep councillors accountable,
to make them accountable to us,
as they would to any
So we are equipping them
with questions to ask
when they are being canvassed
at their doorstep.
Do you get a sense that this
will be a referendum
on Brexit, these elections?
Well, of course it will,
but it is not about whether you're
for or against Brexit.
The3million, for instance,
does not itself take
a position on Brexit.
We are here to safeguard
If there is a Tory run council that
will provide excellent services,
outreach, and to register
all EU nationals, then
why not support that?
What is the mood music coming back
from the members you have spoken to?
Well, there is a certain level
of distrust in the current
government, I have to say.
But equally, I think we have
heard a lot of noise,
we have heard lots of reassurances,
but they have been
What we need is actions, and we need
actions at the local level.
We're talking about local
elections and luckily
we have a vote at the local level.
What is this distrust based
on in terms of EU citizens' rights
because the government and no doubt
Chris Philp would say that those
rights are going to be guaranteed,
and even during the implementation
and transition period,
that now they will have
indefinite leave to remain,
although other rights may change?
The devil is in the detail.
We will not be keeping the same
rights that we have now.
And what the government has proposed
is a lesser immigration
status with fewer rights.
She's just being realistic,
Costanza, saying that there
is a level of mistrust
in the government and that is hardly
surprising based on past rhetoric?
Let's start with the local question.
She asked about what local
councils are doing.
Westminster City Council,
that we were just discussing,
are running an outreach event
tomorrow, Monday, which EU nationals
are invited to where they can
have all of their rights
and the processes explained.
They are already doing
in Westminster, a Conservative
controlled council, an enormous
programme of outreach,
exactly as you have just requested.
What about the level of trust?
I hope that will be recognised.
As far as the wider national
rights are concerned,
at the stage one agreement
on the 8th of December,
the Prime Minister and
the European Union made it clear
that European citizens
here would have the right to stay,
obviously, and after five years
living here would be able to get
settled status and after ten years
become full citizens.
Those people would also
have the right to bring over
close family members,
so that is a generous offer
which shows that we really do want
European Union citizens to stay
here and continue making
the phenomenal contribution
they have been making for the last
ten, 20 or 30 years.
Does that convince you?
It is in black and white,
in the agreement.
I am afraid it does not.
It is less than what we have
now, and it is not in
black and white yet.
The logic of your argument
is that your members are more
likely to vote for Labour,
as many other Londoners?
No, I would not say so.
We have not heard reassurances
from Labour either.
There have been very unfortunate
votes on our rights in the Commons
and Labour have not supported
citizens' rights, and to be honest,
remaining in a customs union
would make no difference
to freedom of movement.
That is the point.
Labour cannot be trusted
on this issue either,
because they have been very opaque.
There has been a move in terms
of saying we would be part
of a customs union if Labour
was the government but
in every other sense,
you voted to leave the EU?
I think The3million are doing a very
good job and it is right to be
evenhanded and encourage people
to vote, that is the
first important thing.
Labour are not doing any more for EU
citizens than the Tories?
Absolutely not and this is the thing
that most animates me
about the whole Brexit debate,
more than one in five
of my voters is an EU citizen.
I speak to many of them every
week, knocking on doors.
They are very, very upset,
traumatised I would say,
about the fact they're being treated
as second-class citizens, and they
feel they do not have a future.
Give me examples of how they feel
like they are treated
like second-class citizens?
Well, what we have
just talked about.
Settled status is not the same
as the rights they have now.
You're talking about
the transition period?
People who arrive after March 2019?
No, settled status.
This is part of the confusion.
There are going to be at least five
different types of rights you have.
You might be waiting
to acquire settled status,
have settled status.
In the transition period,
we now find out, contrary
to what Theresa May led us
to believe, you will not
have the right to settled status,
you will have the right
to indefinite leave
to remain after a period.
I barely understand this.
Most of the people I am talking
to do not understand it and they're
being treated in an appalling way
by this government.
That is why I think that
people will remember that
when they go and vote in May
because this is not...
Can you imagine treating
any other national group
or ethnic group like this?
Are you on a sticky wicket
in London, which is seen as a Remain
city, on the basis of what Costanza
has said and listening
to Andy Slaughter, this
is going to be extremely difficult
in these local elections?
We're not on a sticky wicket.
Andy and we saw the letter
from Neil Coyle, they are attempting
to scaremonger to win votes
at the May election
but the truth is European Union
citizens are welcome here.
We want them to stay.
Let me finish.
There is a very clear path
to acquiring not just permanent
right to stay but full British
citizenship, which we expect
the vast majority of
European Union citizens to do.
They're welcome to stay here,
we're making it easy to stay,
and they will continue making
a massive contribution
and it is in black and white,
it is in the agreement on the 8th
December, it is in the draft
withdrawal agreement, 117 pages
published by the European Commission
last Wednesday, it is there
in black and white.
We are going to have
to finish it there.
Costanza, thank you very
much for coming in.
That's all we've got time
for for the London part of the show.
My thanks to you for
being my guests today.
So how about a bit of
a break from Brexit?
This morning the government
announced new plans to make it
easier for more houses to be built,
with rules to cut red
tape so that there can
be more homes in areas
where they are needed the most.
The government says they will take
on what they call the "Nimby
councils" who don't build enough.
However, their problem is that a lot
of these councils are Conservative.
So could we be about to see
a battle between local
and central government?
With me now with hopefully
all the answers is Cabinet Office
Minister David Lidington.
Thanks very much for coming in.
morning. If you're going to try and
build more homes in the south-east
of England, which is where the
demand is highest, these are going
to be your own councillors you're
taking on over this?
If you talk to
most Conservative councillors they
will get the need for more homes and
their significant growth in house
building. Actually, if you talk to
councils in my area you will see
councils that are getting on in
doing it with one of the fastest new
house-building rates anywhere in the
Under this government
house-building rates have fallen
significantly. Fewer new houses a
year than there were under the
Labour government, 223,000 in 2007,
217,000, fewer now than word being
built under the last Labour
The number of new houses
last year was 217,000, the
second-highest annual house-building
figure in 30 years. That is not a
record to be ashamed of. We have
also increased considerably the
spending on affordable homes in the
delivery of affordable homes in
council homes compared with what the
Labour government achieved. More
council houses have been built since
2010 than the entire 13 years in the
Labour government before that.
number of affordable homes being
built is going down.
built is going down. In 2010 it was
61,000, last year was 40,000.
is exactly why we have put in £9
billion, an extra 2 billion in the
last year alone, into the affordable
housing programme. What we need to
do is to get the new homes built.
That takes us to the planning
announcement that is being made
tomorrow, with a new national
planning policy framework for public
consultation. Houses and residents'
groups can feedback their views on
that. When I talk to councils I
find, and I talk to residents
concerned about new development,
what they want is to know that there
is going to be the infrastructure,
there is going to be the public
services to support new housing. I
find increasingly people get the
need for new housing.
People get the
need for new housing, they just do
not want it anywhere near them. That
is where the phrase Nimby comes
I think that is being unfair.
When I say to
people, all can your children or
grandchildren afford to get on the
housing ladder, you see the heads
nodding, even among older residents.
They get the importance of this,
just as people get the significance
that we are living independently for
longer. That is great, but we also
need more accommodation, there are
more households for any given level
of population than we had in the
past. As well as having the house is
planned for, so that the locations,
as in the new guard in towns and
cities programme are being properly
planned for, you also need the
infrastructure, the transport, the
broadband to support that. That is
why the housing infrastructure fund
has been set up, so that local
councils can bid for that to support
unlocking development opportunities.
The government has said this morning
that Nimbys need to be tackled. But
the Nimbys and in the Cabinet. You
have said this needs to be done in a
way that protects the green belt.
The housing minister says every
effort must be made to avoid
building in the green belt. The
Prime Minister Minister said that
local authorities may only alter
green belt boundaries in exceptional
No, not at all, you
are underestimating the way green
belt is important. If you come back
to the Chilterns green belt area,
for people living in London, living
in Luton, High Wycombe, Milton
Keynes, Watford, these are places
expanding, new houses are being
built. Having that nearby is
something that is really important
so we need to plan housing alongside
conservation which is why when the
planning framework is announced
tomorrow and the Prime Minister
makes her big speech on housing, we
are also saying this will be
developed alongside and taking full
account of what Michael Gove and the
environment Department are doing
with a 25 year plans to improve the
environment of our country.
take you back to the speech the
Prime Minister made on Friday, her
Brexit speech. She made it clear one
of the hard facts was we weren't
going to get everything we wanted.
You are as close as you can beat her
thinking on this, what will she
Tempted as I am, I'm
not going to go into a detailed
negotiating position. We accept that
what we put forward is ambitious,
also credible idea for a close
economic partnership with the EU in
the future. The PM said in the text
of the speech that neither of us
will end up with everything they
wanted. What we need to do now is
see the EU's opening position, to
sit down and start to work through
in detail some of these points about
the law, how you deliver our
objectives of as frictionless trade
as possible, our economic
partnership in the future that
allows cross-border spy chains to
continue in a way that works to our
advantage and that of the EU 27
government don't seem to be happy
about this, Simon Coveney said this
morning he doesn't then -- think the
EU will agree to it so we are no
closer to fixing the problem.
Coveney and the Taoiseach as well as
others have also the way to solving
the responsibilities over the Irish
border and avoiding the hard border
as to do that in the context of an
overall EU UK economic partnership
for the future, and go back to the
PM's speech on Friday and she set
out a number of elements of that. A
deal on goods that would mean the
and the EU recognise each other's
standards so British and European
goods circulated freely without the
need for border checks or paperwork.
That's what the Irish said they
don't think the EU will agree to.
think it is in the interests of the
EU to have this arrangement and
these sorts of detail are what we
need to get into to understand where
difficulties lie. The Prime Minister
also talks about a customs
arrangement or partnership with the
EU 27 in the future that would allow
us to simplify and eliminate some of
these problems. We already have
agreement on the continuation of the
Common travel area which means free
movement of people across the
jurisdiction border between the
island of Ireland and Ireland and
the UK. What the Cabinet are
committed to, and it was laid out in
the PM's speech, is that we see it
as essential to ensure there is not
a hard border on the island of
Ireland, that every aspect of the
Good Friday Agreement, both
east-west and north-south, is upheld
Moving onto President
Trump, he's threatening tariffs on
cars imported into the US which
would include cars coming from the
UK, Jaguar Land Rover brought over
100,000 into the US. If he makes
good on the threat of 10% tariffs,
what will the UK do about that?
the moment we are part of the EU and
would be talking with the commission
and European partners about our
collective response to this. I just
think that the United States is not
taking an advisable course. Trade
wars don't do anybody any good.
you know there's every possibility
Donald will go with this so what
would the EU do?
We would have to
see what happens. There's a lot of
concern recently about something
comparable as regards to aviation
and the aircraft we produced in part
in Belfast and the American
authorities at the end of the day to
drop back down and said no, that is
not the way we should be going.
tried in Britain in the 1960s
getting our car industry from
competition. It didn't work, it
protected inefficiencies, we lost
all our export markets because our
competitors went out and gobble them
up and the car industry had to go
through a very painful restructuring
to get to the success story it is
Once we have left the European Union
and customs union, we will be able
to respond to a tariff or trade war
like this entirely differently so if
this were happening in three years,
what would the British government be
able to do in response to American
president threatening tariffs?
is likely piling hypothesis on
hypothesis, but it would also depend
in part on the nature of the
agreement that I hope we conclude
with the EU on industrial goods and
cross-border supply chains but we
would be free to impose our own
trade defence measures against any
country that is trying to dump on
the UK market and the bill is
currently going through Parliament
will give the UK authorities the
power to do just that.
Lidington, thanks for talking to us
this morning. We will now turn to
our expert Anil and what they think
it means for the future. Steve, this
idea of the potential of a trade
battle going on between the EU and
US takes us to part of whether the
UK can make up its own responses,
Yes, and it's very
interesting David Lidington saying
we are leaping several hurdles here
because he hopes that post Brexit
the UK and the EU are lined terms of
other sectors. Whether they get that
sector by sector deal is highly
questionable so that's one of the
several hoops that it is very hard
to navigate. If you have a president
of the United States who is a
protectionist butting up tariffs,
that will have an impact on the rest
of the world. No country operates
alone in this global market. That is
the harsh reality. It has been lost
sometimes in arguments about
sovereignty and Britain going it
alone and the rest of it. It has an
immediate impact on every other
country and they are partly
powerless to do very much about it.
Is Donald Trump threatening this is
a clearer example as to why Britain
needs to leave the customs union,
I think we will have a
better deal with the EU than Donald
Trump does. Trump hates the EU, he
doesn't hate Britain, he wants
things to work well for us. He has
been very consistent about that and
always said America first so I
agree, it is possible he will go
ahead with this but also equally it
is possible that we will strike
something very positive with the US.
We did promise we will talk about
something other than Brexit for
small parts of the programme so
let's pick up on the housing
announcement coming tomorrow from
the Government. It feels like every
six months or so the Government will
-- promised they will build more
homes, and I being cynical?
what they are promising now is
exactly what they promised in the
White Paper on housing, this is just
fleshing it out. It is the exact
same announcement. That said, what's
quite good about this, to some
extent I think the language is too
aggressive about councils and that
is what Labour is picking up on. For
a long time, politicians have
focused on things which are demand
side in the housing market because
it is sexier. Help to buy, right to
buy, and yet they can exacerbate the
problem because if anything while
helping a few people they are
pushing up prices potentially. What
they are doing here unapologetically
is focusing on the supply side and
that's what they need to do. It
isn't very sexy, it is not on every
front page today, the speech
tomorrow won't have as much of an
effect as the speech on Friday but
this is probably one of the biggest
crisis facing the country.
something voters care more about
And the timing of this
is very interesting, coming up to
local elections in London Tories are
expected to do very badly. Sadiq
Khan's record on housing is
extremely questionable to say the
least and I think this is an area
where the Tory party senses it could
be more proactive.
Is there enough
oxygen in the room for people to
concentrate on housing for voters to
get the message or ministers to push
Voters have got the
message. Grandparents understand it
even if they don't want house
building near them because their
grandchildren cannot buy because
they cannot afford to in certain
parts of the country so everybody
agrees about the ens, we need more
housing, it is just another means. I
completely agree that right to buy
doesn't address the issue of more
housing. This does partly but I
think the cabinet needs a housing
minister in the Cabinet accountable
and to say right, we are going to
build this number through various
means and I am accountable to make
sure it happens. It needs that level
At the same time as
Brexit, it should be housing?
they have the right issue. There are
many issues, Brexit is sucking up to
much energy. There are tonnes of
shoes we should be focusing on but
this is one of them.
thank you for coming in.
That's all for today.
Join me again next Sunday
at 11am here on BBC One.
Until then, bye-bye.
Sarah Smith and Jo Coburn with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include former Conservative leader Lord Howard, shadow secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Andrew Gwynne MP and minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington MP. On the political panel are Isabel Oakeshott, Anushka Asthana and Steve Richards.